Correlative Particle Analysis

Correlative particle analysis

Identification and analysis of particles

Correlative particle analysis:
know more sooner

We combine various microscopy and spectroscopy methods to acquire harmful particles reliably. As such, along with standardised reflected light microscopy, we use also SEM-EDX analysis and RAMAN & FTIR spectroscopy for the identification and analysis of limit-exceeding particles. In this way we can clearly identify organic and inorganic particles in relation to their material and the damage the particles can cause.

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Harmful particles

Advantages of correlative particle analysis:

You receive detailed, comprehensive results for organic and inorganic particles. While during a standard cleanliness inspection using light microscopic evaluation, particles are only typified based on their surface gloss, during correlative particle analysis with SEM-EDX analysis and RAMAN and FTIR spectroscopy it is possible to classify and identify reliably the material of organic and inorganic particles. In particular, information about the material composition and the potential damage behaviour for limit-exceeding particles represents significant added value for identifying and eliminating the sources of particles in the manufacturing process.

Added value at quality analysis

Quantity & size class

We detect the smallest particles from a size of 5 µm. In your test report you receive detailed information about the quantity of particles and their classification into size classes.

Material classes

With our analytical method, we can analyse the following material classes: metals, minerals, salts, fibres and organics.

Damage behaviour

We classify particles based on the following damage behaviour: hardness classes, conductivity and magnetism.


The accreditation of our inspection methods and measuring rooms signifies for you certainty, dependability and objectivity.

Metallic particles

Metallic particles on components mostly stem directly from the manufacturing process. Using the light microscope, we classify these particles via the metallic sheen. If a particle is not detected and assigned correctly, the consequence can be far-reaching damage, above all in components critical to the function. As a rule, we therefore recommend a further analysis using the scanning electron microscope. With the aid of SEM-EDX analysis, we can classify particles reliably by identifying elements and then categorise the particles in a material class. The material composition is an important factor for specifying the damage the particles can cause. In this way, the hardness of the material or its electrical conductivity can be determined, for instance.

In the images you can see our correlative workflow based on the example of a shiny metallic particle. During the correlative particle analysis, our specialists were able to identify it as a magnesium particle.

Non-metallic particles

We verify non-metallic particles, e.g. plastics, using a light microscopic analysis. Plastic particles mostly stem from packaging residues and, as a rule, are soft particles. Nevertheless, they cause damage if they are large enough or numerous enough. Then they can clog filters or bores. Glass fibre reinforced plastics are even more critical because they can have an abrasive effect. For this material identification, we supplement the analysis with RAMAN or FTIR spectroscopy. We compare the spectra measured with reference databases to identify the material.

In these images you can see how we identify a non-metallic particle as polypropylene in the correlative workflow.


Organic and inorganic fibres also play an important role in the qualification of the cleanliness of the component. These fibres include cotton fibres, synthetic fibres, hair and glass fibres. With the aid of light microscopy, we can verify the presence of the fibres and measure them. For unambiguous identification of the material, we supplement the analysis also here with SEM-EDX analysis for inorganic fibres and with RAMAN or FTIR spectroscopy for organic fibres.

In the example in the image, we were able to identify the fibres detected as keratin by means of a RAMAN analysis.

Mineral (hard) particles

Mineral (hard) particles are mostly residue from abrasives such as corundum, oxides or silicon carbide. They are also often residue from blasting material such as sand or glass beads with which the surfaces are processed. Mineral (hard) particles are often hard or are electrically conductive with sharp edges and a crystalline form – they have a high potential for serious damage to the components and the manufacturing process. Although these particles can be detected using light microscopy, the material cannot be classified via an elemental analysis. Deshalb erfordert dies je nach Partikelart die detaillierte Partikelanalyse mittels REM EDX-Analyse unter dem Rasterelektronenmikroskop oder per RAMAN- und FTIR-Spektroskopie.

Via SEM-EDX analysis, our specialists were able to verify the presence of a corundum and a sand particle in the example in the image; it was not possible to classify the particles using light microscopy.

With extensive experience, excellent equipment and sound expertise, our experts obtain the best from every analytical method so that you can rely on excellent measurement results.

+49 7022 2796-681

DAkkS accreditation according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025

Accredited test laboratory
for technical cleanliness verification

Determination of technical cleanliness (TecSa) of components, systems and fluids using fluid extraction and air extraction, and evaluation with use of optical microscopy, SEM-EDX, RAMAN and FT-lR spectroscopy are accredited by Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS) in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. Furthermore, all our other specialist areas have also been accredited.

You can read more about the advantages our accreditation offers you here:

Find out more


the right partner for

correlative particle analysis

What can we analyse for you?
We would be pleased to advise you about the numerous possibilities and combined analytical methods. The goal: the best, most cost-effective and most efficient residual dirt analysis.

Call us, we look forward to hearing from you!